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Strong earthquake hits off Guatemala

world Updated: Apr 15, 2008 09:49 IST

Reuters
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A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.1 struck off the Pacific coast of Guatemala on Monday, sending residents of the capital out into the street in panic but there were no immediate reports of major damage or injuries.

The quake struck at 9:03 pm (0303 GMT on Tuesday) with an epicenter 45 miles (73 km) south-southeast of the city of Escuintla.

It was felt in the capital for up to a minute but the fire department said there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

Radio stations reported electricity blackouts in Guatemala City. The US Geological Survey verified the quake's magnitude at 6.1 -- which is capable of causing severe damage. USGS reported the quake was at a depth of 49.4 miles (79.5 km).

(Reporting by Herbert Hernandez and Martin Asturias, editing by Jackie Frank)